Silicon Valley Auto Repair

Quality Tune-Up Car CareBrake Repair

Where can I find reliable brake repair in San Jose, Fremont and Milpitas?

Quality Tune-Up & Car Care offers brake repair you can depend on. We have six convenient locations to serve you in the South Bay Area--including San Jose, Fremont and Milpitas.

How often should I bring my vehicle into Quality Tune-Up & Car Care for brake repair?

We recommend having your brakes repaired and serviced by a professional mechanic at least once a year. At Quality Car Care, we take brake repair very seriously. (Check out our brake care tips)

What is part of a brake inspection?

A brake inspection is when a technician takes off the tires to get a closer look at the various brake components. A thorough brake inspection includes:

  • Checking the brake pads for wear and tear
  • Checking the level of brake fluid
  • Measuring the thickness of the rotor
  • Monitoring the condition of hoses and brake lines
  • A test of the brake lights

What are the benefits of brake repair and brake maintenance?

Brake repair is a safety measure. Without properly working brakes, normal driving situations would take a turn for the worst. However, there are other benefits in getting routine brake service and brake repair. Changing your brake pads, when needed, saves wear on your rotors, which translates into less money spent down the line.

At Quality Tune-Up & Car Care, we always strive to achieve your 100% satisfaction. No matter the service, from brake repair to tune ups, we are eager to have your vehicle running in its peak performance.

What are some brake terms/parts I should be familiar with?

Brake fluid--Stopping a car depends on hydraulics, and brake fluid is literally the system’s lifeblood. Pushing the pedal forces fluid through the lines, causing components to expand against the wheels, stopping the vehicle.

How often your brake fluid needs to be replaced depends on a number of factors, such as your driving habits and environmental variables like heat and humidity. Most vehicles don’t offer gauges or sensors to track brake fluid, so having your fluid inspected by a certified auto mechanic is crucial.

Brake pads--Made from a variety of metals, brake pads squeeze the rotor whenever the brake pedal is pushed. Brake pads typically last between 20,000 and 40,000 miles, perhaps much longer with high quality brake pads.

But even if you aren’t watching the odometer closely, brake pads are designed to alert drivers when they’re wearing thin.

A small metal piece pings or “chirps” when it makes contact against the brake disc. Warning: Listen for that squealing, otherwise you could do serious damage to your brakes. Paying attention to and acting on cues like these help keep routine services from mutating into major repairs.

Calipers--Part of a disc brake system, calipers push the brake pads against the rotors when the brake pedal is pushed. This resulting friction between the pads and rotors slows--and ultimately stops--the vehicle.

Waiting too long to replace worn brake rotors puts extra stress on the calipers. The calipers will rub against uneven rotors if the components aren’t parallel to one another, creating a vibration that can be felt in the steering wheel during stops.

Drums--These bowl-shaped components use springs to expand the brake pads against the inside of the drum. This style of brakes is typically found on the rear of trucks or sedans. While drums produce a substaintial amount brake dust, the majority of the grime hides behind the drum's covering, which means less gunk on your rims.

The brake drum is typically made of cast iron, a material that conducts heat well and resistant to wear.

So why are drum brakes usually found on the rear wheels?

“Drum brakes are cheaper and take less hydraulic force to activate. When you stop your car most of the braking is done by the front brakes because of weight transfer--why you feel pressed towards the front when you hit the brakes,” said Nathan Kaemingk, a technical specialist for Cummins, Inc. “[Drum brakes] are more susceptible to warping and brake fade. They're worse at cooling, and more likely to need cleaning and adjustment for optimal operation than disc brakes because a lot of the dust from brake shoes stays inside the drum.”

Rotors--As the name implies, these metallic discs rotate as the wheels are in motion. Rotors sit behind the wheel assembly and can sometimes be seen through the vehicle’s rims. Pressing the brake pedal activates clamps on both sides of the rotor.

Friction created during braking produces searing heat that eventually scars the rotors. While they can be resurfaced, rotors eventually reach a point where replacement is the only option.

Rotors should be checked during a tire rotation or multipoint inspection.

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